About Chris


Chris Chapman is a prolific California regional artist known for her sensitive yet strong landscapes in pastels and watercolors.  Looking close up at the landscape, she’s also created a substantive body of work in California native botanicals. 


Born in Pasadena in 1950, her bonds with nature and creative expression were forged early.  After studies at University of Oregon, UC Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara Community College, her livelihood as an artist was realized.

Combining conservation with art, from 2000 to 2013, Chris and painter husband, John Iwerks, lived and painted on the Gaviota Coast.  During this time they co-managed Arroyo Hondo Preserve, creating a visitors center, adobe gallery, and natural history illustrations while also teaching art classes at Santa Barbara Community College.  Now Chris and John live and paint nearby in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley where Chris is active with the Wildling Museum.  The Gaviota Coast and Eastern Sierra Nevada are enduring favorite subjects.

Chris is a member of the Oak Group, a small but auspicious group of preservation minded painters formed in 1986.  Since then, their sales of $3 Million have benefited non-profit environmental organizations for protection of open space.   Her botanical work is featured in permanent installations at Ventura County Art Museum, Sedgwick Reserve, and Descanso Gardens. She is a Signature Member of several national pastel societies and Honorary Lifetime Member of Santa Barbara Art Association.  

Painting is the pathway I chose for my life’s work, but it also chose me. It is the best way I can honor beauty and express my feelings, true to what I see and feel in Nature.”

— Chris Chapman